Super Bowl 50 aired almost two weeks ago but I’ve only now had the time to update my Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Ratings Analysis. Not surprisingly, the big game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos was the highest-rated and most-watched TV program since last year’s Super Bowl. It was watched by 111.86 million viewers. That’s actually not a new record but it still pushes “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” to eighth on the list of most-watched TV broadcasts in the United States.
“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was watched by 105.9 million viewers back in February 1983. For 27 years it was the single most-watched TV broadcast in U.S. history. It wasn’t until Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 that “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was finally dethroned. Currently, Super Bowl XLIX (2015) is the single most-watched TV broadcast with 114.44 million viewers.
|1.||Super Bowl XLIX||2015||114,442,000|
|2.||Super Bowl XLVIII||2014||112,191,000|
|3.||Super Bowl 50||2016||111,864,000|
|4.||Super Bowl XLVI||2012||111,346,000|
|5.||Super Bowl XLV||2011||111,010,000|
|6.||Super Bowl XLVII||2013||108,693,000|
|7.||Super Bowl XLIV||2010||106,476,000|
|8.||“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”||1983||105,970,000|
|9.||Super Bowl XLIII||2009||98,732,000|
|10.||Super Bowl XLII||2008||97,448,000|
As always, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” is still the highest-rated TV broadcast of all time with a 60.2 household Nielsen rating. No other broadcasts come close and that’s a record that will likely never be broken. The highest-rated Super Bowl was Super Bowl XVI (1982) with a 49.1 rating. This year’s Super Bowl 50 averaged a 46.6 rating.
It’s also not quite fair to compare a sporting event like the Super Bowl to a scripted TV episode, even one as heavily promoted and anticipated as “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was. An increasing population meant it was only a matter of time before a Super Bowl game beat “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.” I admit that it is a little sad to see the finale pushed down the list every year, that doesn’t take anything away from its accomplishments.